Spain's Expo 2008 on World Water Opens
Expo 2008, themed on the world's dwindling water resources, opened in the Spanish city of Zaragoza on June 14, days after the riverside site narrowly escaped flooding.
King Juan Carlos officially opened the 25-hectare (62-acre) exhibition on the night of June 13. Organizers hope 6.5 million people will visit before it closes in mid-September, providing a major economic boost to the northern city, Spain's fifth largest.
The Expo features Europe's biggest fresh water aquarium, a 76-meter (250-ft.) water tower and 140 pavilions, themed around different climate zones and representing 105 countries.
Organizers stress the Expo's environmentally friendly credentials. The site is four times smaller than that built for Seville when Spain last hosted an Expo in 1992, and even the tourist shop's carrier bags are made of potato starch.
Two thousand environmental experts will produce a "Zaragoza Charter" outlining recommendations to solve problems such as the lack of clean water for 1.2 billion people and the danger of wars fought over dwindling water resources.